Monthly Archives: November 2010

Christmas Books into Movies

Barbara Vey -- November 30th, 2010

I love hearing good news and I’m always happy when authors share it with me.  So, congratulations to Sheila Roberts for having her book make into a movie.  Here’s her news:  “My novel “On Strike for Christmas” is going to be a Lifetime movie, airing this December 5th. Needless to say, I’m excited about it and since this is such a fun chick story I thought maybe some of your posse might be interested in hearing about it. Lifetime should have a page up about it soon but meanwhile, here’s a link in case you need to check it out.”  I’m a Christmas movie junkie, so I’ll be looking foward to it.

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Debbie Macomber and Doris Roberts

.Debbie Macomber and Doris Roberts

Debbie Macomber’s second installment in the Mrs. Miracle series, Call Me Mrs. Miracle can be seen on the Hallmark Channel on Friday, December 3rd.  Last year’s Mrs. Miracle movie can be seen online at the Hallmark Channel website.  Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) stars as Mrs. Miracle.

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Katherine Chloe Cahoon is using her debut novel, The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men for some very good causes.  Events have been held at the University of Texas and Vanderbilt University with the help of sorority members. Proceeds from the UT event went to  First Book, which gives new books to children in need. Katherine says, “Being an author, this was especially important to me.

Several of the young women at the event plan to travel abroad next year

Many of the young women who came said they were planning a trip abroad

When children do not have their own books, they miss important opportunities to develop their creativity and see the options life can hold for them.”

The VU event benefitted the Nashville Children’s Hospital and was called “Give the Kids a Shot at Life.” At both events, local singers donated their time and talents to entertain those who attended.  Tonight Katherine will be in Chicago for a philanthropy book event with Northwestern University for CASA, a nonprofit group which helps children who have been abused and neglected. Several European male students at the university have volunteered to put on a show for the girls attending the event. It will be quite entertaining!  (BTW, I did a Drive By Video with Katherine at the Emerald City Writers Conference and you have view it here.)

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Giveaways

From Nights of Passion Blog:  From Nov. 29 to Dec 5, Nights of Passion Blog is having a weeklong holiday party with romance authors a.c. Mason, Lindsay Downs, Mary Martinez, Toni Kelly, Rebecca Royce, Annie Nichols, Sandra Sookoo, Leanna Renee Hieber, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Marie Roy, Kit Marlowe, C. Margery Kempe, and Inara LaVey. Join the fun and enter the contests.  See the Nights of Passion Blog for details.

From Marianne Stephens:  Enjoy a Free Read, Special Delivery, on December 1st on my website.  Happy Holidays!

From Ellora’s Cave:  Ellora’s Cave free books being issued through the end of the year:  12/6/10 – A Taste for Jazz by Ciana Stone  12/27/10 – Destiny by Design by Wylie Kinson

If you have any news, charity or giveaway you’d like considered for the blog, please send me an email:  bvey@publishersweekly.com

Bottom Line: Good things are happening all the time…take a minute to look for all the good things in your life.


Happy Thanksgiving

Barbara Vey -- November 25th, 2010

Holidays spent with families are always important.  Unfortunately, my sons will be in St. Louis and I’ll be in Milwaukee.  Luckily, most of my brothers and sisters are here with their families, so I consider myself blessed.

May you all find something to be thankful for this time of year and always.  I’m thankful I’ve been given this opportunity to meet so many of you and enjoy so much of what publishing offers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bottom Line: The best part of the Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers.

Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Barbara Vey -- November 23rd, 2010
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Michelle

Michelle

As our Cub Reporter today, Beyond Her Book blurber, Michelle, attended Murder and Mayhem the weekend of November 12th.  Held at the Muskego Public Library, this event is chuck full of mystery, authors and readers.  Here’s Michelle’s take.

Friday featured a meet and greet with wine and snacks that encouraged the mingling of authors and their readers.  We then enjoyed a panel playing Stump the Author that was moderated by Blake Crouch.  Six authors competed against one another for a bottle of UV Vodka and a pack of Kool Cigarettes.  For aspiring authors here was advice:  write everyday; set a limit to write your words, not someone else’s (F. Paul Wilson); quit coming up with reasons not to write, keep writing (Henry Perez); read, read, read (Victor Gischler); authenticity is important (Victoria Houston); and if it doesn’t say it on the page, it doesn’t say it (Reed Farrel Coleman).

K-9 demonstration

K-9 demonstration

Saturday started off with Zip, Cody and A.J. Marhofke of the 911BC K-9 Search and Rescue giving demonstrations of the keen senses of these Border Collies.  Zip helped in recovery efforts on 9/11 and can find remains seven feet deep as well as a drop of blood in an Olympic size pool.

Next was a lively discussion of “Character Matters” and the question posed; Are there “Minor” characters in books?, heated up the debate.  Some authors bring back minor characters into other books and some feel there are no minor characters as they are the center of their own lives (Brett Battles).  Chelsea Cain talked of needing to find something true about her characters and Sean Chercover shared a quote that spoke to him, “write the book you want to read.”

Tom Schreck

Tom Schreck

Tom Schreck moderated a panel discussion of Why We Keep Writing, and posed thequestion, “what psychological need does your writing fill?”  Denise Swanson answered, “Control.”  Shirley Dammsgaard responded with control and that she can legally kill people, which it is like an addiction -chasing the buzz.  Joanna Slain said that she wants her life and her work to matter.  Deb Baker loves climbing into the creative world, and Julie Hyzy talked of control, to make people’s world better and to be her own Nancy Drew.

Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott

In his interview, Ridley Pearson shared that he started writing short stories when he was 10 while enjoying the writings of John D. McDonald along with the early works of Ken Follet and Robert Ludlum.  He also wrote songs for a band he was in that traveled around the country with a wood burning stove inside their vehicle.  Playing the sax, guitar and some piano, he is in a band of authors that includes Stephen King and Dave Barry.  The band has been together for 18 years and they have raised two and a half million dollars for nonprofit organizations.  Also on his resume, Ridley was on a task force that helped the FBI catch the Washington Sniper, along with teaching creative writing in China.  The one book he makes sure to read each year is To Kill a Mockingbird.  Ridley is definitely a very intriguing individual and I really enjoyed meeting him.

Reed Farrel Coleman and Victoria Houston

Reed Farrel Coleman and Victoria Houston

After the interview there was another panel discussion about crime fiction on the edge with a lively debate about personal beliefs about the span of mystery writing from cozy to hard boil crime noir.  The day ended with authors talking about writing thrillers.  Shane Gericke talked of writing an adrenaline rush and that thrillers are thrilling by definition.  Kat Richardson leaves cliff hangers at the end of her chapters.  F. Paul Wilson likes playing with the reader’s expectations but that there needs to be highs and lows within the writing as a high degree of tension wears out the reader.  Jeff Abbott says that suspense comes between the hero and villain as they each are finding their goal.  No wonder these authors can be found on the bestsellers list.

Bottom Line: As enjoyable as this experience was, it couldn’t have happened without the wonderful staff and accommodations provided by the Muskego Public Library.

Book Trailers: Get Your Fix Here

Barbara Vey -- November 22nd, 2010

On November 4th, PW Shelftalker blog asked, “Who Watches Them?”  Sheila English, CEO of Circle of Seven Productions said she just read “an article about grants being given to libraries for book trailers.  And Sheila would be the one to talk to about this subject since she trademarked the term “Book Trailer.”

I used to post Sunday Matinee with book trailers when PW was using a different blog site.  I had to stop when I couldn’t figure out how to put them on this site, but the issue was finally resolved, so I will again be showing videos on Sundays.  If you would like one considered to be on the blog, you can send it to me at bvey@publishersweekly.com

In case you’re wondering what you’ve been missing, I’m posting several book trailers I’ve recently received.  Enjoy them and then let us know if watching the video makes you want to buy the book or even read it?  Have you seen them being shown anywhere?  I actually saw one before a movie at the theater a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised.  There were a lot of people in the theater exposed to that book video and I’m for anything that gets something to think of reading a book.  Brilliant!

Face the Winter Naked by Bonnie Turner

An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan

The Shadow Keepers Series by J. K. Beck

Wicked Highlander by Donna Grant

Crown of the Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson

Bottom Line: By the way, I’m blogging over at Romance University today and Saturday I was at the Pink Heart Society.  Thanks to all who stop by.

Giveaways

From Susan Crowley Nights of Passion Blog: From Nov. 29 to Dec 5, Nights of Passion Blog is having a weeklong holiday party with romance authors a.c. Mason, Lindsay Downs, Mary Martinez, Toni Kelly, Rebecca Royce, Annie Nichols, Sandra Sookoo, Leanna Renee Hieber, Susan Hanniford Crowley, Marie Roy, Kit Marlowe, C. Margery Kempe, and Inara LaVey. Join the fun and enter the contests.  See the Nights of Passion Blog for details.

From Samhain Publishing: Here are Samhain Publishing’s freebies for this month on Nook and Kindle. This month we’re not only offering our standard two titles for giveaway, we’re also offering four holiday stories as freebies that’ll run a full month from mid-November to mid-December. Happy holidays to our readers!

The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day and the original price will go into effect again.

Begin Date

End Date Book Title Author

11/1/2010           11/14/2010         The Matchmakers          Jennifer Colgan

11/15/2010         11/28/2010         Pack Challenge              Shelly Laurenston

11/15/2010         12/15/2010         Snowy Night Seduction Arianna Hart

11/15/2010         12/15/2010         My Christmas Wish        Ember Case

11/15/2010         12/15/2010         Holiday Bound               Beth Kery

11/15/2010         12/15/2010         The Dickens with Love   Josh Lanyon

WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- November 18th, 2010

I can’t believe it’s going to be Thanksgiving next week already.  Thank goodness it’s never at my house.  I couldn’t take the pressure.  Instead, I’ll think about my one dish I have to bring and spend the rest of my time checking out some of the books read by the WW Ladies this week.


joysann

joysann

Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready

Read by joysann

Ciara Griffin’s life is endangered when a deadly mutated chicken pox virus victimizes anyone who has never had chicken pox or been vaccinated, and she never did. A connection is made between the contagion and the sudden appearance of zombies in the area, and only vampires are strong enough to fight them, bringing in the Control, the paranormal military agency to which Ciara is committed for a time. With her lover, Shane, and the other vampire DJ’s of WVMP radio (“the Lifeblood of Rock and Roll”), a vulnerable Ciara is instrumental in a ferocious battle, all kept hidden from the mundane world around them.

As Ciara’s and Shane’s adventures continue, I keep getting sucked further into them. I’m intrigued by the mysteries surrounding both Ciara and the Control, and I can’t guess where they’re going to go. Suspenseful, mysterious, surprising and romantic, Bring on the Night has me anticipating the 4th book in the series.

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Sue

Sue

The Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman

Read by Sue

Trixa Iktomi is a Trickster, although at the moment without any of her powers. Still, she has her friends, which is a good thing since the demons aren’t stopping just because she can’t shapeshift. When almost 1000 demons end up dead, though, something Big’s going on – and Trixa has to figure out what, and how to stop it.

With lots of action, and plenty of humor (it IS about a Trickster, after all), this is a good read. I can’t wait to find the first of the series, Trick of Light, to get some of the background on this story.

Hailee

Hailee

The White Horse Trick by Kate Thompson

Read by Hailee, 12

The world is falling apart. Ireland’s entense climate is getting worse every day. The General decides to send as many people as he can into Tir na n ‘Og, the Irish legendary land of eternal youth. The King of Tir na n ‘Og is not happy about the refugees until he discovers all the treasures they brought with them. When ordinary and extaordinary mix there’s no limit to what might happen.

The White Horse Trick  is a book of unbelievably spun webs in legend and in the future. This story shows a whole different side of what might happen in the future and definately gives you something to think about. A fast paced fantasy that satisfies your taste buds with every turned page.

Bev

Bev

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon

Read by Bev

Charlotte Goodman’s husband has left her although she is the one who moved out.  She keeps trying to figure out if she wants to stay in her marriage or should she leave.  The people she thinks are her friends aren’t and those she barely knows, Francesca, becomes her best listener.  Francesca is a new member of a roller derby team and she wants Charlotte to go out for the team.  Charlotte finds  a new passion, roller derby.  Much of what happens on the track and off center on her new passion.

A wonderful book with memorable characters.   I remember the old roller derby and it was fun to read about younger people being involved in it. There is a strategy of roller derby and how one can hide from their real life and take on a totally different persona on the track.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about Charlotte and her life and it’s easy to see why this book is called “Going in Circles”.

Loretta

Loretta

Strong Enough to Die by Jon Land

Read by Loretta

Caitlin Strong - a 5th generation Texas Ranger is investigating a frightening plot which threatens our country.  She meets a dangerous criminal, Cory Masters, who originally wanted her dead, but as the story unfolds they begin to work together.  The tale unfolds into a quicksand of impossible standoffs, cruelty and horror and killing.

I found it impossible to read this novel without shuddering – could such wickedness ever happen?

Marsha

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Read by Marsha

Violet is a young teenager who posseses a special ability.  The missing dead call to her and only Violet  is able to hear them.  She is drawn to find them.  Violet’s unique talent puts her in the middle of murderous intrigue.  She cannot ignore the cries of those unfortunate souls.  At the same time, Violet struggles to be a normal teenager and just wants to celebrate her new found love with Jay, her boyfriend.  Violet wants to confide in Jay but what if anything should she tell him or the FBI investigators who have also taken notice of her ?  The government agents put added pressure on Violet.

Kim Derting ‘s story pulled me into Violet’s turmoil and I could not fail to root for her and Jay’s love.  This book was a thoroughly absorbing read with a surprising twist at the end.

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Heidi

Heidi

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Read by Heidi

Ralph Truitt is a lonely bachelor in need of a wife in rural Wisconsin of 1907. To make a new start for his life, he places an advertisement for “a reliable wife”. Catherine Land is a woman of many secrets. And she plans on covering them up by marrying Ralph. With this arrangement comes consequences. And there are many on both sides of this relationship.

I can see why this book is such a popular one for book clubs. The premise alone is intriguing. What kind of a desperate man places an ad for a wife and what type of woman would answer? Both parties have plans for their future, and yet they both have incredible secrets and plans for murder. It made me uncomfortable and fascinated all in the same breath. You won’t be able to put this one down, I promise you that.

Edie

Edie

A Killing Tide by P.J. Alderman

Read by Edie

Successful San Francisco consultant Kaz Jorgensen returns to Astoria, Oregon, to help save her twin brother’s fishing business. When her twin’s best friend is killed, he’s the suspect and is nowhere to be found. Refusing to believe he did it, Kaz sets out to prove his innocence. Michael Chapman, the town’s new fire chief is a former top arson investigator from Boston.  He came to Astoria to escape memories of his fiancée dying in a fire set by a revengeful arsonist. Now he’s falling for another woman whose life might be in danger, and he’ll do anything to save her.

Alderman has published her former RITA finaling book as an e-book, giving new readers a chance to read this page-turner.  The characters come to life with strengths and flaws and layers. The description is evocative.  The romantic tension builds naturally, from a spark to a flame. I was saying Wow! from the first chapter to the last.

joysann

joysann

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Listened to by joysann

In futuristic post-apocalyptic USA, a recent winner in the Hunger Games, where a boy and girl from each district is pitted in a battle to the death, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen is thrust into the role of the Mockingjay, the resistance’s emblem of freedom. Rebellion rages across the country, focusing on fighting the Capitol, and Katniss must find the will and strength to face the unspeakable horrors and losses of this war to keep the rebellion moving forward.

The YA trilogy The Hunger Games is suspenseful, shocking, horrifying, violent and thoroughly enthralling. I hadn’t even heard of it until the final book, Mockingjay, came out and I read the enthusiastic remarks about it in the social media, inducing me to pick up the first book in audio to take a listen. I couldn’t stop or listen to the three books fast enough. Even though its target audience is Young Adult, start at the beginning.  It took my breath away.

Bottom Line: Today is the Great American Smokeout…good luck to all those trying to kick the habit!

Meeting Authors, Building Loyalty

Barbara Vey -- November 16th, 2010

This past weekend I attended the Readers ‘n ‘Ritas in Dallas.  A wonderful event that allows readers to get up close and personal with authors.  There were authors from different genres and while some readers came with the idea of getting to meet their favorite author, others were there looking for new ones to read.

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One of the special things that was offered was an author’s lounge.  About 3 authors at a time were assigned to be in there for an hour.  There were round tables set up and readers were invited to come in and just visit with the authors.  It was a very relaxed setting with no expectations other than getting to know someone better or for the first time.  And this was a two way street.  The authors got to find out what the readers are looking for in books and what turns them off.

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I remember years ago when Sue Grafton came to town.  I had never met an author in person before.  She gave a talk first, read a little from one of her books and answered questions.  I was mesmerized.  Since I already had a few of her books I brought them to sign and I still treasure them, but it’s what happened after that stays with me to this day.  Every time someone would ask me who I read, I would mention Sue Grafton.  I would borrow out her books, talk to others about the characters and lament the lack of a movie.  While I can’t buy every book that’s published, I do buy every one of hers and I also buy one for my daughter in law who’s become a fan.

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It’s now commonly known that promotion is a big part of book sales, I really believe in the power of the personal touch.  If an author attends a library event, does a book signing, participates in a charity event or reader event, it gets their face and name out there.  Reader loyalty.  It’s not something you can buy.  It’s something you earn by writing wonderful books and giving the reader an experience they don’t normally get.

I can’t tell you how many readers I talked to over the weekend who were thrilled to have new authors to try.  Authors they may have never heard of otherwise.  Some readers were even brave enough to try new genres because they enjoyed meeting the person who created the book.  After readers have finished reading all that their favorite authors have written. they are anxious and willing to try someone new.

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It seems to me that the authors who fare the best are the ones willing to go out of their way to talk to the readers and listen to what they have to say.  They don’t just congregate in their little author groups that are extremely intimidating to a reader.  No one wants to interrupt a group unless you already know someone there.

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So, authors, if you’re given the chance to attend a reader event…go.  But go with the intention of getting to know the readers.  If you have old books of yours to give away, all the better.  Nothing hooks a reader like a free book.  (Of the free books given away at the Readers ‘n ‘Ritas event, I’ve already read 2 of them and both authors I never read before.) If they like it, they’ll be off to buy your back list along with anything new that you’ve done.  I’ve seen it happen many times.  Why?  Because they now know you personally and have that special connection.  And when someone asks who they’re reading…they just may mention you by name.

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Have you ever met an author in person and then went out and got their books?  Ever have a friend suggest a book because they met the author?

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Bottom Line: My travels are done for 2010, but I can’t wait for all the new authors I’ll meet in 2011!

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Giveaways

From author Dianna Love: Dianna Love is giving away a copy of Blood Trinity (signed by her and Sherrilyn Kenyon) and a limited Belador Tshirt to a name drawn from everyone who posts a comment about her podcast at http://readersentertainment.tv/radio/interview-with-dia…nna-love by midnight EST Wed, November 17, 2010.

Readers ‘n ‘Ritas: Up Close and Personal with Authors

Barbara Vey -- November 14th, 2010
Fresh Fiction Crew: Daniel R, Becky Pena, Sandi Shilhanek, Gwen Reyes, Alicia Vinas, Sara Edmonds

Fresh Fiction Crew: Daniel R, Becky Pena, Sandi Shilhanek, Gwen Reyes, Alicia Vinas, Sara Edmonds

Saturday morning at Fresh Fiction’s Readers ‘n ‘Ritas started with a continental breakfast meet up that evolved into a paranormal panel.  With a slew of urban fantasy/paranormal writers, there was no general consenus on what should or shouldn’t be put into any book.  In these fantasy worlds there are no rules except the ones made by that particular author.  Anything and everything is fair game.  On being asked the difference between paranormal and urban fantasy, Jaye Wells explained that paranormal had a romance going on and a definite resolution to the story, while urban fantasy could either have romance or not and not necessarily have a happy ending.

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Tara Taylor Quinn, Dianna Love, Nikki Duncan, Laura Griffin

Tara Taylor Quinn, Dianna Love, Nikki Duncan, Laura Griffin

The suspense panel took a gory turn when talking about research.  Laura Griffin admitted that she attended a session where they cut the skin off the hand of a victim, then a person used his gloved hand to put on the skin so they could get a fingerprint to identify the victim.  Tara Taylor Quinn talked about researching the White Supremacy group and the fear she experienced with the more she found out.  Dianna Love met a CIA assassin who wrote his own book.  I think if I wrote a book, it would have to be about chocolate or something really fun and yummy to research.

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I stopped in a panel on e-books and a representative from Barnes and Noble was talking about their new e-book reader that will be in color and sell for $249.  There wasn’t one there to look at, so I can’t say if it was worth it or not.  I don’t know if it would make a difference to me with reading regular books, but they said that comic books and magazines looked really great on it.  I’ve never looked at a magazine on an e-reader and I wonder how they get those fragrance samples on there.

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Jade Lee and Louisa Edwards at the author signing

Jade Lee and Louisa Edwards at the author signing

At the luncheon, each author sat at a different table and offered a gift basket to one lucky reader.  I sat with Laura Griffin and picked her brain about her Deadly Promises anthology I recently read.  I was happy to hear that the characters I was concerned about will be getting their own book next.  Can’t wait.  Special guest, Sherrilyn Kenyon then did a Q&A and the room packed with her minions ate it up.

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There was a book signing, but unfortunately several authors’ didn’t have the books they (and their fans) were expecting show up.  Trying to make up for it to her readers, Sharon Ashwood didn’t have any, but offered free shipping to anyone who signed up for one of her books.  There’s always something that can go wrong at these events, but, as a reader, it’s really frustrating when the bookstore promises something but doesn’t come through.  Although many of the authors had no problems, my heart goes out to those who look forward to this opportunity to share their work with new readers.

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Wuthering Heights and the Queen of Hearts

Wuthering Heights and the Queen of Hearts

A masquerade party ended the night with the readers coming dressed as their favorite characters as they honored the authors they came to see.  As expected, there were a lot of vampires, slayers, winged creatures and fangs galore.  Prizes were given, dessert provided, but, alas, I never did find the Margarita fountain I expected at an event called Readers ‘n ‘Ritas.

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Bottom Line: Now I’m not sure if I should expect martinis at my next event, Tarantula’s ‘n ‘Tini’s.

Readers ‘n ‘Ritas Friends Event

Barbara Vey -- November 13th, 2010
Candance Havens

Candace Havens

Friday night was for readers and authors to get to know each other on a much more personal level at the Fresh Fiction Readers ‘n ‘Ritas event in Dallas.  Everyone was seated at round tables while each author came up to the microphone and introduced themselves by telling a little about the kind of books they wrote.  They’re were a few authors there I’d never met before and I don’t know why I’m always surprised when I see them for the first time in person.  I guess we all get that mental image in our minds about how someone should look based on the kind of books they write.  They are never how I pictured them.

Candace Haven was the emcee and kept things moving along and managed to mangle Ann Aguirre’s last name calling her Aguire instead of A-Gear-Ee.  Dakota Cassidy followed up by saying her name is really Cass-A-Day.  When Rosemary Clement Moore wasn’t able to attend, Candace did a dead on impersonation of Rosemary to include the hair flip and explaining how “awesome” both she and her books were.

Readers and authors getting to know each other

Readers and authors getting to know each other

The authors were then rearranged so every table had their own author to get to know.  As an introduction, everyone stated their name and the kind of books they liked to read.  I was surprised when a woman at my table announced she loved to read, but hadn’t read anything by any of the authors in attendance.  She was just looking for new people to read and came to the right place.  This is exactly what these events should be.  A chance to meet a favorite author, but also the opportunity to discover new ones.

Next up, the readers needed to list all the books written by the author at their table on large sheets of paper.  Clues were given

Avid readers Jenni Montgomery, Betty Fox, Ellen Howell

Avid readers Jenni Montgomery, Betty Fox, Ellen Howell

and guessing games made remembering the books more memorable.  Of course, I had Jade Lee at my table and she had already passed out bookmarks with all her books listed, so our group had a head start.  A smart author always is prepared.

After a pizza party and door prizes, I was off to rest up for the big day they have planned for Saturday.

Bottom Line: I’m saving myself up for the margaritas part tonight.

Readers ‘n ‘Ritas in Dallas

Barbara Vey -- November 12th, 2010

Well, I’m off early this morning on a flight to Dallas to attend the 2nd annual Readers ‘n ‘Ritas Conference.  Sponsored by Fresh Fiction, the website describes their event as:

Readers ‘n ‘ritas (RNR) is the perfect event for women and men who love to read and want to share the joy of books with others who have the same passionate obsession. RNR is an extension of the DFW Tea Readers Group which has been tossed from bars, asked to leave restaurants, and closed down tea rooms.. Become part of the legend!

Readers ‘n ‘ritas is your chance to mingle with your favorite authors in an intimate setting including Guest of Honor Sherrilyn Kenyon and Special Guest Dianna Love. Other authors attending include: Lauren Willig, Dakota Cassidy, Jaye Wells, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Michele Bardsley, Rachel Caine, Tara Taylor Quinn, Our Mistress of Ceremonies is KSCS 96.3 personality Candace Havens.

I’m personally looking forward to mingling with the readers.  It’s exhilarating to get their take on what’s hot and what’s not.  I love watching their reactions to meeting their favorite authors in such an intimate setting and the joy they experience as they share their love of books with each other.

What would you like to know that readers are thinking?  And readers, what questions do you have for authors?  Do you have a reader/author event in your area?  Would you go if there was one offered?
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Bottom Line: While I was in Dallas a few years ago, I didn’t get to see any of the city, so I’m hoping I have a little time to check out some of the local sites.

Contact info:

Email – BVey@publishersweekly.com
Twitter - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Vey/151214544898315
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New Jersey Romance Writers: Put Your Heart in a Book Conference

Barbara Vey -- November 11th, 2010
Stacey Agdern and Robyn Carr

Stacey Agdern and Robyn Carr

WWLady Stacey here, having collected my thoughts after spending three amazing days at the 2010 New Jersey Romance Writers : Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. For two days I wore my cub reporter hat, and the third was the bookseller’s lunch, where as the only representative bookseller from New York, I got to sneak the cub reporter in.

A common thread that made it’s way through the conference was, oddly enough  ‘fear’.  Meredith Duran showed us how to harness character’s fears in order to create a story without an outline, Leanne Banks explained what to do in order to deal with our own fears, and how much daily writers affirmations could easily help us gain confidence.  Jessica Andersen told  us how to get past our fears of world building, turning a detailed, large task into something much easier to handle, explaining that you can world build no matter what subgenre you’re working in (and no, I did NOT end up with an early copy of the next book in her amazing Nightkeepers series, though I did find out that Sven’s book will be book seven…)..

Dee Davis and Kathleen O'Reilly

Dee Davis and Kathleen O'Reilly

Anne Stuart showed us that the best dark romances involved character’s fears, and gave us that little hint of how her personal fears informed her brilliant stories (and didn’t shy away when I informed her that ‘Cold as Ice’ was my antidote for the shower scene in Casino Royale)..  Rochelle Alers made no secret of her love for classic romances, and inspired those of us who were lucky enough to listen to her workshop, to seek out those groundbreaking stories.

Inaugural Golden Leaf winner for Romantic Suspense, Dee Davis, expressed nothing but surprise (which sometimes might possibly be the opposite side of fears) when she learned that her critique partner, the fabulous Kathleen O’Reilly not only was going to present the award…but that she’d known all along that Dee was going to win.  Dee also gave a great workshop on dialogue Friday afternoon.  In other times, the opposite of fear is joy and during her workshop on structuring a book, Kathryn Smith reminded us to retain as much joy as we can…  and not to overthink things.

A large part of the connection between Sunday’s booksellers lunch and the rest of the conference was the fabulous Robyn Carr.

Santa O'Byrne, Katiebabs, Kwana Jackson, Janet Gover

Santa O'Byrne, Katiebabs, Kwana Jackson, Janet Gover

She is funny, approachable and is capable of making an entire lunch of both booksellers (Sunday) and writers (including this proud cub reporter, Saturday) sit up and take notice.  She is very conscious of her audience, and being in her presence allows that audience to understand not only why her books are so popular, but also to wish even more success for such a lovely woman.

I want to thank conference chair Miriam Allenson, co chair Marlo Berliner (who drove me to the conference hotel from the train station early Friday afternoon along with her already scheduled passengers Janet Mullany and Pam Rosenthal) for putting on a spectacular conference.

Bottom Line: Today is Veterans Day.  Please remember the brave men and women who have served our country over the years.